This is exciting — not only has Air Tahiti Nui announced plans to fly to Seattle, but the airline is also introducing a new partnership with Alaska Airlines.
Air Tahiti Nui adds Papeete to Seattle route
Air Tahiti Nui has revealed that it will introduce 2x weekly flights between Papeete (PPT) and Seattle (SEA) as of October 4, 2022. The flight will operate with the following schedule:
TN52 Papeete to Seattle departing 10:00PM arriving 10:25AM (+1 day)
TN51 Seattle to Papeete departing 12:40PM arriving 7:30PM
The flight will operate eastbound on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and westbound on Wednesdays and Sundays. The flight will cover a distance of 4,784 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 9hr25min eastbound and 9hr30min westbound.
Air Tahiti Nui operates a fleet of four Boeing 787-9s, each featuring 294 seats. This includes 30 business class seats, 32 premium economy seats, and 232 economy class seats. Read my review of Air Tahiti Nui’s 787-9 business class here.
Seattle will only be Air Tahiti Nui’s second destination in the United States, after Los Angeles, which is served daily. From Los Angeles, Air Tahiti Nui also operates fifth freedom flights to Paris. In addition to destinations in the United States and France, Air Tahiti Nui also flies to Tokyo and Auckland.
Air Tahiti Nui award seats are available
If you want to redeem miles for travel in business class on Air Tahiti Nui’s new flight, there’s some good news. Many frequencies have two business class award seats available. That’s pretty awesome, since finding award seats to Tahiti can otherwise be quite challenging.
As of now the best program for redeeming on Air Tahiti Nui is American AAdvantage. You can book awards between the United States and South Pacific in business class for 80,000 AAdvantage miles one-way. As of now these award seats aren’t showing on aa.com, but I imagine they should be bookable by phone with American.
Air Tahiti Nui & Alaska Airlines launch partnership
It might seem a bit random that Air Tahiti Nui is adding Seattle as its second destination in the United States, since Seattle isn’t the second biggest O&D market in the country for Tahiti. So in case you’re wondering about the logic of this route, I imagine this is the explanation.
As of April 1, 2022, Alaska Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui will be launching a partnership. As of that date it will be possible to earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel on Air Tahiti Nui. Award redemptions aren’t immediately possible, but are expected to be rolled out this spring, so hopefully it happens in the coming months.
Below you can find the Alaska Mileage Plan mileage earning rates for travel on Air Tahiti Nui.
This is a pretty logical partnership, given that Alaska Airlines has hubs in both Los Angeles and Seattle, so this provides quite a bit of connectivity for Air Tahiti Nui passengers.
Air Tahiti Nui will be launching 2x weekly flights between Tahiti and Seattle as of October 2022, which is the carrier’s second destination in the United States. That’s pretty cool to see. On top of that, Air Tahiti Nui and Alaska Airlines will be launching a partnership as of April 2022. This will initially offer reciprocal mileage earning opportunities, and as of some point this spring should offer reciprocal mileage redemptions as well.
What do you make of Air Tahiti Nui adding Seattle flights, and launching an Alaska Airlines partnership?
Timing on the outbound leg makes it pretty useless - arriving too late for a transfer to any outer islands - so you'd have to add a night on Tahiti then get back to PPT in the am. That said, outbound from LAX, return directly home to SEA works for me!
So excited about this opportunity. They have the best customer service and they go the extra mile to make your flight comfortable.
The SEA flights are now bookable on AA
Having flown with them twice I just can’t get used to climbing over a seat in a premium cabin to use the lavatory - it makes me anxious and I dont need that
Business class seats are insanely expensive for this flight looks like the “sale” price will probably be like $6000.
Would this be considered a fifth freedom flight? Papeete is France and Paris is France, and Air Tahiti Nui is a French airline, so I wouldn't think that would be considered fifth freedom...
I'm very excited. Tahiti has been on my bucket list for a long time, I've been saving my miles for a trip like this.
The flight times are poor. Consider that an extra night in a hotel in Tahiti would be required as it arrives at 7:30PM. The eastbound flight is good timing.
Yes, b/c everyone wants to fly to Tahiti on a Sunday or Wednesday (arriving the following day) for optimal use of vacation days.
I can see a PPT-SEA-CDG flight coming soon as it is only 50km longer than the LAX stop but without the "LAX issues". SEATAC new international wing may just be friendlier to this type of traffic.
Ben, you know better. The LAX-CDG flight is not 5th freedom. TN is a French airline. It is a 3rd and 4th freedom flight.
I see no biz class availability on AA for this new flight?
Why not Dallas/AA if it's about connectivity
Same feelings as Alex. This is great for anyone in San Francisco (or other city served by Alaska I guess). United always had very poor redemption options and expensive flights to PPT from SFO. I assume we’ll be able to book SFO-LAX/SEA on Alaska then to PPT on Air Tahiti Nui using one reward.
Was super-excited to see the Alaska partnership and was like yes, I can now fly Air Tahiti Nui instead of United to French Polynesia till I read on another blog, "Paid Air Tahiti Nui flights will not earn elite qualifying miles in the Mileage Plan program." The partnership makes no sense then. What a bummer.
Wow mega lame. Guess it's for redemption only!
Pretty sure that is how their partnership with AA works as well
Happy to see an earn partnership with Alaska. I can now fly Air Tahiti Nui instead of United to French Polynesia.